Chaconne from Bach's Partita no. 2 for violin, on the hammered dulcimer
July 20, 2013 1:26 AM   Subscribe

Chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita no. 2 for violin (BWV 1004), played on the hammered dulcimer by Mihail Leonchik. Youtube.
posted by Anything (22 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks. That was nice. Bach tickles me.
posted by Goofyy at 1:57 AM on July 20, 2013

Such a haunting piece — love hearing the multiple voices at the end. Itzhak Perlman's performance will also bring tears to the eyes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:01 AM on July 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

That was great!

Busoni also wrote a version for piano that is unbelievably gorgeous too. As played by Helene Grimaud
posted by astapasta24 at 2:17 AM on July 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Technically impressive performance for sure, although I'm not so fond of his rather Romantic-era interpretation; there's so much rubato and sudden dynamic shifts that the horizontal lines / voices disappear in the texture. But still, lots of skill going on here.
posted by LMGM at 2:32 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wonderful! Wonderful! This made my early morning!

Here's Brahms' transcription of the famous Bach Chaconne for the left hand (only) on the piano.

The version on this CD by Leon Fleischer is my favorite rendition of Brahms' transcription. I would have linked to Amazon but their website has been as slow as molasses; lately, Amazon takes forever to load.
posted by Vibrissae at 2:48 AM on July 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I love the Chaconne because every time I hear it I discover something new.

When I first saw it performed live I was amazed by what a physically demanding piece it is - interesting that it still looks challenging even on an instrument that I'd've thought would make it a bit easier.

I do agree with LMGM on the interpretation, but it's very impressive nonetheless.
posted by winna at 8:50 AM on July 20, 2013

posted by Catblack at 9:42 AM on July 20, 2013

Nice performance!! amazing what you can do on such a limited instrument.. but bach on a tin can would be great as long as the musician has a heart (and some chops)

One of the greatest pieces in the literature, imo... When it goes to D major variation it is like the heavens open up.. but then back to the minor and then back to tragedy.

I love the playing Brahms left hand version for its purity. Why bother with playing with left hand alone? I don't, but then again if you only have one arm like Wittgenstein or one reliable hand like Fleischer, you have no choice.

Rubenstein bach-busoni.. is great, imo.

And this Milstein version (at 83 years old) is amazing

posted by snaparapans at 10:03 AM on July 20, 2013

Very nice. Thanks for posting this, Anything.
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2013

This was lovely!

Note also "Dueling Hackbrett," a version of "Dueling Banjos" with clarinet and hammered dulcimer. Very German-sounding. It does not match the American energy, but I like that they thought enough of the tune to work it up.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:23 PM on July 20, 2013

Mihail Leonchik has a Youtube channel: chickchirick. He's a very versatile player.

It's a shame that the hammered dulcimer is generally filed under fey Ozark noodling in North America. Belorussian style knocks it into a cocked hat. And then for all-out show-offyness, there's Hungarian cimbalom: Kálmán Balogh & Miklós Lukács.
posted by scruss at 6:54 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Busoni also wrote a version for piano that is unbelievably gorgeous too. As played by Helene Grimaud.

That one's fantastic. I considered making this post only about Grimaud's interpretation, but ended with posting a link to several.
posted by klue at 2:08 PM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh well, just listened to Grimaud... wanted to like it, but was not for me. For me Rubenstein is in an all together different class. Seems obvious, but then again taste is a funny thing. Nice that there is so much variety in the world.
posted by snaparapans at 2:44 PM on July 21, 2013

Now I am curious about the other recordings out there... I like this one a lot by Shura Cherkassky (two part, 1956) ... lots of personality and imagination, a rare thing these days in classical performance. And another recording of it at his 80th b'day concert Carnegie Hall.
posted by snaparapans at 3:38 PM on July 21, 2013

Out of the ones I've heard, this recording by Jascha Heifetz is probably my favorite.
posted by Anything at 11:33 PM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Heifitz.. I like that one a lot too, gold standard in a way...also a favorite of mine is Szeryng's rendition..s worth a listen.. a little more heart than Heifitz, imo.

Too bad Horowitz did not record the busoni transcription.. that would have been interesting to hear.
posted by snaparapans at 8:36 AM on July 22, 2013

I love Szeryng's interpretation, too. It's raw.
posted by winna at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2013

Hah. For anyone who's used or interested in the Pomodoro technique for managing the pace of various work, I present an alpha version of the Baroquodoro technique: Do work while listening to Heifetz's Chaconne twice, then take a break while listening to Emma Kirkby, Elin Manahan & co. performing Dietrich Buxtehude's Laudate Pueri Dominum (warning: beautiful).

I don't yet know what to do with the longer break. Ideas?
posted by Anything at 2:57 AM on July 26, 2013

Well there are always Monteverdi Madrigals to keep your mind alert and heart warm..and then there are the 200 or so Bach Cantatas.. Not sure I could ever do work while listening to great music (or any music), I don't have that kind of mind.
posted by snaparapans at 10:51 AM on July 26, 2013

snaparapans: For some kinds of thought process I too prefer silence, but for most even fairly intense work I prefer certain forms of classical music, although vocal music is pretty much out. Curiously enough, I first got into classical music because I felt that the popular music I was listening to with its much heavier focus on rhythm (as well as lyrics) had started to distract me quite badly, but I also wanted the life that music brings to the surroundings -- and I found that works like Bach's Chaconne among many others provide the life without (in most situations) also providing distraction.
posted by Anything at 11:51 AM on July 26, 2013

You are lucky Anything, I find it difficult to even have a conversation when there is background music on.. restaurants with music drive me nuts.. I have learned to cope when I have no control of the situation somewhat. but it is a struggle. I am a musician, but I do know many musicians who have no problem with background music..
posted by snaparapans at 12:44 PM on July 26, 2013

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